Tree Removal Guidelines

The Genesee Foundation strives to preserve, protect and enhance the natural environment; therefore, requests for tree removals must first go through either Open Space Manager Brian Maillett or the Architectural Review Committee for review.

For more information on the various types of tree removals please review all of the information below and make fill out the form the best describes your needs. If you still have questions, please reach out to our Open Space Manager for more direction. 

Not sure where to start with your tree removal project?

General Tree Removal

Approval for all other cases of tree removal are a bit simpler. In some cases, the ARC does not need to look at or approve your submittal at all; it can be done by appointment with our Open Space Manager. 

Defensible Space Plans

Private property

There are several different cases in which a tree would need to be removed on private property, but the most important would be for a defensible space plan. As a Genesee homeowner, you are encouraged to create defensible space on your property by assessing your hazardous fire fuels and creating a space around your home to slow down the spread of wildfire. To accomplish this, the ARC requires you to hire a qualified defensible space professional to create a unique plan for your unique property. For a list of qualified and approved professionals you can visit and search for “defensible space contact list” at the top search bar.

Once a date is set for a professional to come out and assess the trees on your property, the homeowner must notify the ARC by email at and our Open Space manager, Brian Maillett, at at least two days prior to this on-site visit. During that visit, the professional will mark the trees recommended to be removed with a ribbon. That plan, along with the ARC tree removal form signed by the homeowner and the Open Space manager, should then be submitted to the ARC for a five-day posting on your property. This will give time for neighbors to comment and for the submittal to be discussed and possibly approved at the next ARC meeting. Once ARC approval is obtained, you can move to the next step of hiring a tree removal company and getting your plan completed.

Open Space

If your defensible space plan involves trees on Open Space, a slightly different submittal is required. There are three zones that may potentially contain flammable vegetation that must be removed or thinned to reduce the risk of wildfire encroaching on your home. How large each zone is and how much thinning needs to be done in each zone depends on several factors such as slope, access to the road, and the density, type and arrangement of existing vegetation. If insufficient space exists in the three zones around your home and you must extend onto Open Space to create an adequate defensible space, additional steps and approvals will be needed.

To get an approval on a defensible space plan that includes Open Space, in addition to an ARC submittal along with a defensible space plan from a certified defensible space expert (see Private Property Tree Removal: Defensible Space for more information on this), a homeowner will need to provide evidence of the tree removal contractor’s liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. The Open Space manager may have additional requirements for the contractor to abide by while working on Open Space property, such as erosion control measures, removal of leftover debris (chips) and limiting machine access. The five-day site posting will also be extended to ten days to allow other residents who might be impacted by the extension onto Open Space to be made aware of this plan and to have time to comment.


After the ten-day posting period, the ARC may approve the project and, if so, send it to the Board of Directors for further approval since the plan intrudes onto and changes Genesee Open Space. The homeowner will be notified within thirty days of the Board’s decision and, if approved, the homeowner may contract with the tree removal company to have the work begun. Once a date is set to start cutting, the Foundation office will need to be notified at least one day in advance so that a staff member can be present while the tree cutting is occurring. And after the tree removal work for the entire defensible space plan is complete, the homeowner should submit a Notice of Completion to the ARC so that the completed project can be reviewed at a subsequent ARC meeting.